Cost-effectiveness of induction of labour at term with a Foley catheter compared to vaginal prostaglandin E2 gel (PROBAAT trial)

G. J. van Baaren*, M. Jozwiak, B. C. Opmeer, K. Oude Rengerink, M. Benthem, M. G. K. Dijksterhuis, M. E. van Huizen, P. C. M. van der Salm, N. W. E. Schuitemaker, D. N. M. Papatsonis, D. A. M. Perquin, M. Porath, J. A. M. van der Post, R. J. P. Rijnders, H. C. J. Scheepers, M. Spaanderman, M. G. van Pampus, J. W. de Leeuw, B. W. J. Mol, K. W. M. Bloemenkamp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective To assess the economic consequences of labour induction with Foley catheter compared to prostaglandin E2 gel. Design Economic evaluation alongside a randomised controlled trial. Setting Obstetric departments of one university and 11 teaching hospitals in the Netherlands. Population Women scheduled for labour induction with a singleton pregnancy in cephalic presentation at term, intact membranes and an unfavourable cervix; and without previous caesarean section. Methods Cost-effectiveness analysis from a hospital perspective. Main outcome measures We estimated direct medical costs associated with healthcare utilisation from randomisation to 6weeks postpartum. For caesarean section rate, and maternal and neonatal morbidity we calculated the incremental cost-effectiveness ratios, which represent the costs to prevent one of these adverse outcomes. Results Mean costs per woman in the Foley catheter group (n=411) and in the prostaglandin E2 gel group (n=408), were Euro3297 versus Euro3075, respectively, with an average difference of Euro222 (95% confidence interval -Euro157 to Euro633). In the Foley catheter group we observed higher costs due to longer labour ward occupation and less cost related to induction material and neonatal admissions. Foley catheter induction showed a comparable caesarean section rate compared with prostaglandin induction, therefore the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was not informative. Foley induction resulted in fewer neonatal admissions (incremental cost-effectiveness ratio Euro2708) and asphyxia/postpartum haemorrhage (incremental cost-effectiveness ratios Euro5257) compared with prostaglandin induction. Conclusions Foley catheter and prostaglandin E2 labour induction generate comparable costs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)987-995
JournalBjog-an International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Foley catheter
  • induction of labour
  • prostaglandin
  • randomised controlled trial


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